Meet Karina Gomez-Herrera the 2017 Pioneer Hispanic Woman of Distinction, CEO Karnna Fashion & Company, Inc.
“Domestic violence is an epidemic that has spread too fast in our community. It does not distinguish ethnicity, culture, gender, age or sex. I am strongly determined to share my story and success to inspire and support others in the Hispanic community as well as anyone who needs me in this country which has welcomed me for the last twenty years.”
Karina Gomez-Herrera is a talented designer who not only creates patterns that are manufactured into exquisite fashion but she also helps others to redesign their lives.
As a Venezuelan native, she came to America with a job and a dream. But life can be full of unpleasant surprises and only the strong can endure and thrive despite any adversity that befalls them. Karina is a woman of such strength and resolve.
After studying fashion in her native country, Karina became a designer and U.S. representative for one of Venezuela’s biggest fashion companies, Marshal USA. She eventually moved to Miami but when the company closed their stateside offices.
Karina not only lost her job, she also realized that she could no longer endure being a victim of domestic violence and left that relationship behind as well. She was a survivor and she was determined to succeed for herself and her young sons.
Again, working for others, such as Ivory, International, Point Blank Enterprises, Babies “R” Us, Macy’s, Dillard’s, and others, Karina started at the bottom and climbed back to the top adding to her already impressive knowledge of the design and manufacturing industries.
Along the way she earned her second Bachelor of Science in Fashion Design from the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale ( where she now teaches several courses), and her Master in Design and Media Management from Miami International University of Art & Design.
In 2015, she started the Designers & Creative Teams Against Domestic Violence Foundation. She also is the founder of Karnna Fashion Lab where she serves as a consultant, producer, designer, mentor and networking resource for her students as future fashion moguls and a diverse roster of fashion and interior design clients.
In the community, Karina is a motivational speaker for numerous organizations as a domestic violence survivor. She is actively involved in the Pompano Beach Women’s Club, the Greater Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce and Women in Distress and has been instrumental in the development of the Pompano Beach Art Center.
Karina has earned an Exceptional Performance Award as a Designer at Point Blank Enterprises for Military and Law Enforcement on Government Contracts, won a first place Outstanding Business Development Award at the Miami University of Art and Design, received an award as an outstanding “Hispanic Community Leader” by Green Cleaning Solutions, Inc. and was honored with an award as an outstanding “Hispanic Fashion Advisor” by Pro-Tech, Inc.
She and her husband of four years, Jorge Herrera Solano, a property maintenance manager, are the proud parents of Karina’s two children from her first marriage, Valentino Mastrodomenico Gomez and Brian Mastrodomenico Gomez, and Jorge’s children from a previous relationship, Nohelia Herrera and Sebastian Herrera, who currently reside in Costa Rica. They enjoy dancing, traveling, playing tennis, riding bikes, exploring historical museums and just spending time with their children.
As a family, they share a goal to spend more time together and to help in the community toward seeing a violence-free world.
The Latina mosaic in South Florida changes the face of American culture.
There is nothing more exciting than to spend a South Florida afternoon honoring 12 Latinas who have contributed to the south Florida communities and a special award, The Latina Pioneer for 2017.
The 16th anniversary of the Hispanic Women of Distinction Charity luncheon to be held on August 25th at Signature Grand in Davie, Florida is expected to be another sell-out of philanthropists, business leaders, elected officials as well as socialites in attendance to pay tribute to Latina professionals who are strengthening the social fabric of this country and making inroads in the leadership pipeline for a growingly diverse America. The event benefits the Jessica June Children’s Cancer Fund and Pace Center for Girls.
2017 Hispanic Women of Distinction honorees
At PACE Center for Girls, girl-centered culture celebrates the power and potential of girls. With 19 non-residential centers throughout Florida, they provide a safe environment where middle and high school aged girls can thrive.
The balanced emphasis on academics and social services is combined with a program model to produce an experience that is nationally recognized as one of the most effective programs for helping at-risk girls realize brighter and more productive futures.
The Jessica June Children’s Cancer Foundation (JJCCF) is a nonprofit public charity founded in 2004 by Sandra Muvdi shortly after the loss of her only child to cancer. Its mission is to provide emergency financial assistance for children fighting cancer to ensure access to basic human necessities. The Foundation also advocates for and raises awareness of childhood cancer.
Presented by Latina Style Magazine, the nation’s leading publication for Latina entrepreneurs, in partnership with Bank of America and AARP, the highly-promoted celebration brings to the forefront the contributions of Hispanic women from South Florida. Co-sponsors include Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Walmart, Latin Business Today and La Poderosa Radio. What the women have in common and is a major part of the judging process, is their American entrepreneurship intertwined with their values and traditions.
“This year was truly a difficult decision for our judges. With more than 50 nominations submitted, selecting 12 became a week-long effort to cast votes for the “crème de la crème” stated, Elaine Vasquez, founder and producer of the annual event. Nominations were solicited from past honorees and community leaders in south Florida.
“We are delighted to continue our long-time partnership with Hispanic Women of Distinction and provide insight and support to the entrepreneurs and community leaders who are making a difference, “said Robert Bard, CEO and Publisher of Latina Style Magazine.
ADRIANA FAZZANO FICANO – Chief of Staff, Broward College – Broward County
BLANCA GUERRA -Broward County Schools-Curriculum Sup/Dual Languages -Dade
KARINA GOMEZ-HERRERA – Pres. CEO Karnna Fashion & Company – Broward
Dr IVERIS LUZ MARTINEZ- Assoc Prof. Herbert Werthein College/Medicine FIU-Dade
LORENA MASTRARRIGO -Assistant Public Defender, Broward County – Broward
CHRISTINA PEREZ McDOWELL – Founder, Solutions by CPM, LLC – Dade
JACQUELINE NUNEZ – Co-owner, SOMA Medical Centers PA – Palm Beach
Dr. JACQUELINE PENA – Dean Academic Affairs – Miami Dade College - Dade
MICHELLE MARTINEZ-REYES- CMO, Greenspoon Marder Law Firm – Broward
MARIELLE SOLOGUREN – Vice President. Pierson Grant Public Relations – Broward
RACHEL TOURGEMAN –Community Relations Dir.- Florida National University-Dade
LATINA PIONEER of the YEAR:
DAISY EXPOSITO-ULLA – Chairman, CEO of d exposito & Partners, a visionary creative leader in cross-cultural brand building for more than 30 years, Daisy has been recognized by numerous organizations and named as one of the most influential Latinas in the United States.
Daisy joins past Latina Pioneers: Columba Bush, Ileana Ros Lehtinen, Maria San Juan, Caridad Asensio, Joyce Kaufman, Nelly Rubio, Aida Levitan, Maria Elena Torano, Helen Aguirre Ferre, Marielea Villamil and Millie Herrera.
Tickets to the luncheon are $95 per person. Table sponsorships are $1500. The luncheon includes a social hour with complimentary “mojitos”, a business expo, raffles, Latin entertainment, as well as a runway fashion show presented by the Las Olas fashion designer, Zola Keller.